The mission of the Bondsville Mill Park gardens is to not only preserve and protect the park’s native flora and fauna, but to add to it. Our first garden project, the Butterfly Garden, was planted in 2017. It was hard work clearing this area of bittersweet, Norway Maples, and other invasive plants but the reward was that milkweed plants had been hiding under all of the bramble. More plants were added to create habitat for other species of butterflies including pollinators like bees. Hummingbirds quickly found the garden, too.
More gardens were added to the park to create additional wildlife habitat. Equally important, the gardens are to demonstrate to park visitors that native plants are attractive and can easily be included in their own landscape. The Mill gardens are an important educational tool to promote native pollinator conservation and education.
The gardens are maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers including high school students, and on occasion, boy scouts and girl scouts for special projects. Garden volunteers can be seen on Saturday and Monday mornings tending the gardens and even adding new ones. One of the more recent gardens is the “Milkweed Garden” completed in late summer of 2020. By way of example of the dedication of our volunteers, please note the number of hours spent in the gardens: For the year 2020, the following hours were recorded: January, 42 hours; March, 100 hours; June, 175 hours; August, 270 hours; October, 205 hours.
As of January 2021, two new gardens are in the planning stage. Culp’s Clearing can be found in front of the Mill buildings. The Race Walk is in the race directly behind the Mill buildings.